Trolling for Happiness

Trolls, Happiness, family movie time

Dreamworks Animation

I seem to embarrass my children regularly.

This was an easy feat when they were young, like, you know, anytime between the ages of 11 and 19.

At five, our kids think we’re heroes.

At 15, we’re idiots.

But in theory, my kids should be too old for me to embarrass.

I’ve discovered this theory is incorrect.

For instance, last Friday was Veteran’s Day, which meant no school or work for me, my daughter, and her three little ones.

Planning ahead, I texted dear daughter (DD) the Wednesday before:

happy emoji, pinterest“Let’s take the kids to a matinee on Friday!”

She texted back: “Great! Which one?”

Me: “Only children’s movie left with good seats is TROLLS.”

DD: “Nooooooooooooo!!” no-no-emoji

But with three children home all day with enough energy for 100 trolls, DD changed her mind, and we all went to the 1:30 matinee.

As we approached the theater, I warned my grandkids: “This movie has music. Madre loves music. So Madre dances in her seat when there’s music. Who wants to sit next to Madre?”

My 8-year-old (going on 18) granddaughter, GD, choose the far aisle seat. Her mother tried to get that one, but GD was too time, family movie time

I took the fifth seat over, and my 7-year-old genius grandson sat next to me, seemingly happy to share his popcorn with his dancing Madre.

The film was as advertised. Bright colors. Songs with a happy beat. Cute little trolls. And Justin Timberlake trilling True Colors.

I danced in my seat (as advertised) and sang out loud.

DD, four seats away, scrunched down in her seat.

     I wiggled and giggled gleefully to the music.

            DD scrunched down further.

                     And further.

The three kids laughed, though. They even danced in their seats, too.

When the movie ended, my daughter and I turned toward each other and, over the kids’ heads, DD  mouthed:

That Was AWFUL

. . . while simultaneously I mouthed to her . . .

That Was GREAT!


98 thoughts on “Trolling for Happiness

  1. LOL 🙂 Loved this! After all, you were only following instructions – you let your true colors shine through! Listening to this version of the song, which I love, almost made me tear up. I cry anywhere over anything. I think it’s better to dance in your seat and sing out loud…ok, ok…which I also do!!! Loadsa love and hugs, Harula xxx


    • More than anything else, music can send me to tears. As well as to pure joy. Yes, this rendition of True Colors is just lovely. And yes, it brings me to tears. Here’s to always singing and dancing our hearts out, Harula!


  2. I love this story! What is it about being a grandparent that turns us into lovers of fun and mischief? I remember being a very stuffy and serious parent, only to be amazed at my transformation on becoming a grandparent. 🙂 Your grandson is delightful!


    • So true, Barbara. I know we heard how much more fun being a grandparent can be compared to parenting, but I didn’t really believe it until it happened to me. I love being the silly dancing Madre. And I know you do too! 😉


  3. This made me laugh, Pam. I can imagine the scene.

    I generally hate “children’s movies,” and I probably would have avoided this one. 🙂 I’m glad you had a good time, and I bet the grands will remember it. Hahaha.

    At home, I sing and dance along–daughters and I always do it to opening songs of TV shows–but I wouldn’t do it in a theater.


  4. So often, it has nothing to do with the movie and rather everything to do with the experience ~ perspective is always key 😉 And, I can relate so well. We just finished up the holiday letter that we send to friends and family. The last line of that latter feels appropriate after reading your post. Be a fruit loop in a bowl of cheerios 🙂 Keep dancing, Pamela ~ both inside and out 😉


    • I am going to borrow this expression from you, Dave. “Be a Fruit Loop in a bowl of Cheerios.” PERFECT!!! That is my heart’s desire for the rest of my life.
      PS you have a very cool family. 😀


    • I never thought I would recommend the children’s animation movie Trolls, Sharon. But this is what our kids should be seeing, movies or TV shows about love and happiness and striving to be our best and to be there for others always. ( and the fun music is a great way to get the message across ). 💚


  5. Hahahah, too funny, and I so relate! My daughter used to sidle past me in the department store while I hummed and danced to the store music as I searched for the perfect white shirt. Under her breath she would caution, “Mothe-r-r-r”.

    I’d bet your grandkids love your company!


  6. I love most “kids movies” . . . Inside Out, Nanny McPhee, Despicable Me, Madagascar, Zootopia, Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, etc. Not sure that Trolls is for me.

    That said, I’m all for dancing in the aisles when the music moves us . . . Go You!


  7. Think you’re an idiot at 15! I think that thought kicked in at about 7 or 8 with my grand kids … ooh and if they could I’m sure my thirty something daughters would ban me from the cinema or any where with them in public… mind you unlike you I don’t have the moves … apparently.


    • Ha Ha – laughing as I read this. Yes, unfortunately, my 8–year-old granddaughter has rolled her eyes at me. ROLLED HER EYES. I want to remind her that I CHANGED HER DIAPER. But I ignore her and continue with the silly routine. Hey, if we can’t convince them of our immense wisdom, the least we can do is embarrass the heck out of ’em.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You capture the scene spectacularly. I like the grands name for you: Madre has more spice than Nana!

    Incidentally, the latest issue of the New Yorker advertises Anna Kendrick’s memoir “scrappy little nobody” in a full-page spread.

    Thanks, Pam. for putting a bright spot in the day!


    • Yes, I think I’d like to read Kendrick’s memoir. Someone with so much talent yet insecurities, like the rest of us.
      My daughter lived in Italy her junior year of college and began calling me Madre ever since. A good segue into her kids’ names for me. 🙂
      Happy Day, Happy Thanksgiving, Marian. xo


    • So true, Kate. By the time we reach the age of grandparenting, we’ve lived through our kids’ infant diaper stage, the toddler tantrum stage, the angst of turning 10, the insecurities of their adolescence, the pain of college applications, their search for love and meaning in their 20s, and then the pure fear and love that arrives with the birth of their first child. Phew. We now can sing and dance and silly-fy with the next generation EVERY DAY with immense satisfaction and F U N.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What great descriptions. I am just sitting here sipping early morning coffee with flashbacks of my own family smiling. Thanks for candid sharing.


    • I didn’t realize, until my first grandchild arrived, that I’d given up FUN in the name of career and childrearing and worry. I never realized that I had to get older to get younger again. Thank goodness for that! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, Pam, I’m thinking half the entertainment at the theater was in your row! lol I’m thinking, at a kid’s movie if it’s mostly kids and family, you doing that wouldn’t be out of place (?) If not, then I kinda get the “embarrassment” factor 😉 If it’s a kids’ movie, I go expecting to hear the same kind of stuff you’d hear in your living room, but not adult films. Then I get aggravated.

    I’m not one for theaters anymore anyway, largely due to the people constantly talking, answering phones, crunching popcorn with their mouths open and just noise and inconsideration in general, plus I’m chemically sensitive and can’t tolerate the smells people carry in with them anyway :-\ It’s too expensive of an endeavor for me to ultimately not enjoy it. I need the theater EMPTY! lol That said, I’m actually considering seeing “Fantastic Beasts” in the theater, but I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait before the crowds will die down and I can go 😀

    DD wasn’t going to like that movie (or the experience) from before you even went, but I’m thinking you and your grandchildren has a GREAT time, though 😀 LOVE this version of “True Colors” too!


    • Interesting, but there was not a lot of extraneous noise at this kids’ movie. Probably because (1) the theater has the sound on so darn loud, (2) the movie kept everyone’s interest (except at one point where the girl troll and the boy troll got all lovey-dovey; kids don’t want lovey dovey, they want action!), (3) and the loudest noise besides the music and me dancing in my seat was the noise of crunching popcorn. 🙂


      • I’m thinking it was so darn loud to actually mask the noise! lol And oh, that crunching popcorn—can’t handle “mouth” noises anywhere, to be honest, and my son inherited that. My daughter-in-law thinks it was my influence, but I think it has more to do with his own preferences 🙂

        Anyway, I’m glad you’ve rediscovered your inner child! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • The grocery aisle is a good place to dance, and of course the yoga tree pose when waiting in line. I’ve got the 7-year-old doing that one with me. May we all dance wherever we are, for the rest of our lives! xo

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Yeah! Pam, I love your free happy nature reigning strong, even to the disconcertion of your granddaughter – the song is so sweet and wow,vibrancy of colours. I had to laugh at the end…sometimes I feel I’m the child whilst my son is the ‘sensible’ older one.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy yourself. Moving and singing to the music must have been great fun. even if the kiddos though it was weird, don’t worry, there will be a day when they will most likely embarrass you or themselves.

    I admire your family so much. It is one of love and laughter and trust. That is the basis for great family dynamics.


    • Thanks so much. Of course, there are disagreements and grumblings sometimes within the family, but then they look at me – the writer who has power in her pen – and they all get back in order. Ha ha. Just kidding. Laughter and love binds a family – and we try out best to keep that glue on hand.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I loved this movie, Pamela. My oldest daughter is 36 and loved how Anna Kendrick sang “True Colors” with Justin Timberlake. He sure added a deeper meaning to, “Sound of Silence.” It has become more “real” with those who worship god’s and pray to them. The lack of communication between people and not listening is so current with cell phones and technology. 🙂 We danced since my grandies insist on front row seats so we can get up and dance. (Local 150 year old theatre.)
    Now, go check out the beauty in the ocean water and real Pacific Island girl who played, “Moana.” 🙂 Dwayne Johnson does a great job learning how to become sensitive in his role as “Maui.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are soul sisters, Robin! YES, I agree – Anna Kendrick and Justin did a fabulous job with True Colors, and yes, the Sound of Silence was well done too. Can’t wait to see Moana – need to convince my grandkiddies to come along. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes, Pam. 🙂 Soul sisters unite! The 70’s songs were beautifully done in the “Trolls” film.
        I think my grown son was grinning since he rarely gets a chance to tag along. He thoroughly enjoyed the island traditions and mythology in “Moana.”


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